The rise of the internet and the World Wide Web has brought many benefits, but like everything else the internet also has its downside. There are lots of websites where anyone can review a service or a business, irrespective of their qualifications. If you run a hotel or bed and breakfast establishment and someone has found fault with your service, you can almost guarantee that the review will turn up somewhere on Google.
From time to time every business has to deal with some form of negative press, if they have a good crisis communications system; dealing with negative reviews shouldn’t be too difficult.
One of the ways that businesses deal with negative reviews is to enlist the services of a reputation management company. However, this sort of help doesn’t come cheap and if you don’t want the added cost of hiring a reputation management company, dealing with bad press should be part of your crisis communications training.
Getting Your Name Removed from Damaging Posts
Like most people you probably Google your name from time to time to see what is being said about your business on the internet. In the modern business world checking the search engines for negative press should be part of your general crisis communications management. Modifying your business record online and dealing with negative press needs to be part of your management strategy.
Contact the Site Owners
Crisis communications training for your staff should include contacting the site owners if possible when there is a negative review of your business on their site. If someone writes an article about your business that is not only factually inaccurate but potentially damaging to your credibility you can take legal action to have the site taken down. If the person appears reasonable then often a letter asking them to take down or correct the offending post should be your first step.
When a site publishes potentially damaging and inaccurate information about your business then you should notify Google. If the website owner refuses to remove the post or continues to allow such posts on their site, Google will stop indexing them, which could harm their business. One of the time honoured ways of dealing with negative posts is to write a positive one and promote it so that it pushes the earlier one off the first page of results.
Successful businesses have always needed to have good crisis communications management to avert disasters and to deal with members of the press. Bad press on Google has the same effect as bad press anywhere else; it just stays around longer, unless you actually do something. This is the age of the World Wide Web and different strategies are needed to deal with bad online press. You should have a member of staff check the search engines each day so that any negative entries can be removed as soon as possible. Managing crises in the internet age is even more important than in a pre-internet era.